The influence of action-outcome delay and arousal on sense of agency and the intentional binding effect

Conscious Cogn. 2015 Nov:36:87-95. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.06.004. Epub 2015 Jun 19.


The sense of agency refers to the feeling of being able to initiate and control events through one's actions. The "intentional binding" effect (Haggard, Clark, & Kalogeras, 2002), refers to a subjective compression of the temporal interval between actions and their effects. The present study examined the influence of action-outcome delays and arousal on both the subjective judgment of agency and the intentional binding effect. In the experiment, participants pressed a key to trigger a central square to jump after various delays. A red central square was used in the high-arousal condition. Results showed that a longer interval between actions and their effects was associated with a lower sense of agency but a stronger intentional binding effect. Furthermore, although arousal enhanced the intentional binding effect, it did not influence the judgment of agency.

Keywords: Arousal; Attention; Intentional binding; Sense of agency; Time perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult